My blog

Should I stay or should I go?

This is one of the most important questions in any person's career, and I shall try to give a different perspective of how it works as many HRs are approached with this question quite often. And this is what I answer when someone approaches me.

Usually, leaving a company is seen as a logical step preceding a job search, interviews, and job offer considerations. You consider, and this thinking process is usually logical. However, making a decision to look for anything else is mostly an emotional choice. You may change this decision later when the circumstances change or, more often if the emotions calm down. But you are driven by emotions (many may argue, but are ALWAYS driven by emotions, logic only helps to make a path).

One day, your boss might be too bossy. Or someone (usually a friend) will question your career, saying that, actually, you had no career doing the same thing for the last XYZ years. You start feeling useless; you feel small or unimportant. The voices in your head are talking. Your struggles at work become so much that you can not sleep. Usually, it is not physical tiredness. Not many of us move the stones or do other heavy lifting at work. It is a mental exhaustion.

And then people start looking for an escape. Emotional escape to find a place where you belong. Where they will value you, where you start feeling needed. And, recruiters are so glad to have such a motivated candidate looking for an escape, that, most likely, you will be caught in their nets quite soon. “Flight or fight”, remember? And flight is the most common response to any real or imaginary thread…But what about to fight? Fight for the inspirational part of your work? What about other elements in your work: smart colleagues, loyalty to the upper management, lifestyle the job gives, good moments of achievements? Still nothing? Tasks, feeling that you are doing something important, “thank you” from a customer when you helped them to solve their problem?

One of the most powerful “retention” talks I personally have ever had were many years ago. My beloved manager told me, “Please do not leave me alone.” And… I did not, I refused the offer I had dreamed of from student time and never regretted it. Another time one important person told me, “I need you”, and it helped me to struggle a bit more. My team one day told me, “We can not survive without you”, and I stayed again.

So, well, should you stay or should you go? If money is not the only factor you need, just ask yourself if anyone at work important to you can tell you, “Do not go, I need you, you are valuable here, and I shall help you to feel better”. And you will know an answer.